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Pentagon To Use Lasers To Warn Pilots (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 07:53 AM
The Pentagon announced Monday that the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, will begin warning pilots who have violated restricted airspace with lazars. NORAD plans to begin this new warning system in 30 to 45 days and said it could possibly replace the use of fighter aircraft warnings. In some cases, fighter aircraft have been scrambled to escort these stray pilots from restricted airspace at a cost of 30,000 to 50,000 dollars each time.
There have been more than 100 incidents nationwide since November in which laser beams have been flashed into cockpits. The aircraft all landed safely, but federal aviation officials are concerned that a laser could be used to blind pilots and cause a crash.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said its laser warning system will start in 30 to 45 days. The low-intensity lights are less powerful than the ones that prompted warnings, and tests have shown they are safe for the eyes, according to NORAD.

The challenge for NORAD will be to educate pilots that the red-red-green flashing laser beams mean they're flying in restricted airspace.

"Any system like this must be absolutely unequivocally safe for the pilots," AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said. "It cannot cause eye damage, which they say it does not, and it cannot be so distracting that a pilot would lose situational awareness."

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NORAD will begin this program despite federal official warnings that lazars may be used by terrorists to blind pilots as they approach airports to land. Since November, there have been over 100 incidents in which pilots have been flashed by lazars from the ground. Federal officials are afraid that a lazar will be shined into the cockpit from the ground, and will be used to blind pilots and cause a crash.

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[edit on 13-4-2005 by Event Horizon]


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